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Illuminated LED 'forest' coming this winter to Golden Gate Park's Peacock Meadow

Illuminated LED 'forest' coming this winter to Golden Gate Park's Peacock Meadow
Rendering of "Entwined" installation
courtesy SF Parks and
Recreation department.
By Saul Sugarman - Published on October 30, 2020.

With the pandemic casting a cloud over holiday plans, San Francisco officials have found a creative way to brighten our winter season.

Beginning Dec. 1, the Peacock Meadow will be illuminated by 2,000 LEDs that will be entwined within and surrounding three sculptural trees. “Entwined,” as it’s called, is an installation by Bay Area artist Charles Gadeken, and it is part of a small series of activities to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Golden Gate Park during the pandemic.

The project is jointly produced by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. It cost nearly $130,000, which was raised by private donation, said Tamara Aparton, spokesperson for the Recreation and Parks Department.

“It’s this really beautiful, other-worldly wonderland of light visitors can explore,” Aparton said in a phone call.

In addition to the trees, LEDs will be clustered in the park in “small flowering bushes at varying heights, further filling the green space with peaks and valleys of radiating light,” according to a release.

The lights are meant to evoke elements of nature: lightning and thunderstorms, ripples on a pond, raindrops on the pavement, and more.

“People can interact with the art and take a lovely walk through Golden Gate Park all while practicing social distance,” Aparton said.

She noted other anniversary-related activities are “going great” and “very well used,” like the 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel on the Music Concourse that opened on Oct. 21.

“It’s been really popular. The first week sold out very quickly,” Aparton said. “All the safety precautions are in place, temperature taking for everyone and sanitizing between uses.”

The wheel runs noon to 9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. Wheel tickets must be bought in advance here.

The “Entwined” LED installation will run Dec. 1 through Feb. 29th, with a possible extension to June 1. It is ADA accessible.